I think I have found my tree to follow for 2016. Or, as happened in previous years, it has found me. In the last few weeks I have visited Thompson’s Park, not far from my home in Cardiff, several times.
There are many trees in the park – a variety of conifers and some big, bare old trees I managed to identify, even without name labels.
I knew the beeches by their tall, smooth trunks, the horse chestnuts by their sticky brown buds, the ashes by their old bunches of “keys”, and the oaks by the brown leaves lying at their feet.
But always my gaze was brought back to a dark, complex-looking tree near the duck pond.
Since I am uncertain about the species, for now I will call it the pigeon tree, because the feral pigeons seem to like perching on it. I wonder if that’s because it has a flat top from being cut back many times in the past to limit its growth.
The trunk is very rugged.
I start to guess the species – or at least the family.
If I am not mistaken (it wouldn’t be the first time), this tree is probably some sort of oak (Quercus). But as I have learned from recent comments on my tree blog posts, there are many species of oak and they also hybridise easily.
It will be interesting to see the new leaves in spring, although I don’t know if there will ever be any flowers or acorns on this old specimen.
Are you following a tree? Look out for the link box on this blog on February 7.
Want to know more about tree following? It’s all here.